Tag: lens

This camera is most definitely my new favorite suggestion for those folks who ask me what camera they should buy. There is no one camera to suggest for everybody’s needs, but almost everybody who asks is in the looking-to-step-up-to-something-nicer-than-my-point-and-shoot category. For those buying a professional or serious amateur choice, I am rarely asked what I think, because they know what they want without asking me. So, almost everybody is in that middle range: no more point-and-shoot cameras and no felt-need for $1000+ purchases.

For the needs of most, I would suggest the Fujifilm X10. My coworker once asked me, after watching me suggest different cameras for different people, “Why do you suggest different cameras and why do you never suggest your own camera?” I try my best to understand the primary concerns people have, what they want out of their camera, what has been the biggest problem with their current camera, and what kind of photography they will be doing. More often than not, price is the driving concern, and the X10 provides much more for your money than any camera I know of in a similar price range. Read the Post Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Camera Buy

FAQ

“I am constantly running into the problem of not having enough light,” my friend moaned in an e-mail. Join the club, dude. He asked a slew of questions related to what gear I use, or would suggest, to try to help combat that age old problem (ok…”age old” as far as photography is concerned anyway) of not enough light.

What are you using these days? I know you are very much anti-flash, which I basically agree with. But I am constantly running into the problem of not enough light. Are you mostly shooting with a 50mm f/1.8? Or are you jacking up your ISO? Or are you using a tripod? Which reminds me, my tripod recently broke, any recommendations on one (that is not in the crazy range, under $200)? Ok, so I am asking lots of questions, sorry. But one more, post production, what are you using? Lightroom? Photoshop? iPhoto? Read the Post The Problem of Not Enough Light.

We are back to that recurring question: what camera should I buy? I am often asked, but having recently put some work into finding the best options for a coworker who was buying a first camera setup for her son, I thought it might be helpful to share what I found and suggested. I worked quite hard to stay within a $500 budget, though some of the options below rely on used gear, and availability certainly can change quickly.

My chief aim was to avoid the kit lens which comes with all of the entry level digital SLRs. Not that they are rubbish, necessarily, but you will constantly be fighting their limited aperture, your photos will have the same feel as everybody else’s, and more than likely you will be more satisfied with a cheap, fixed-length lens with wider aperture. So, here we go… Read the Post $500 Camera Budget

There is a difference. The workshop I am starting up today is not “basic photography”, in the sense of photography for just beginners. Rather, if the word “basic” must be used to describe it, it is the “basics of photography”, in the sense that we may already be highly creative, have an excellent eye for the image we want, and take beautiful photographs on a regular basis, but we still have a weakness in the technical aspects of how photography works.

Photography is intriguing in that way: it is both highly creative and highly technical. You have to have a feel for the image, and eye for what to capture, but you also have to have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of how cameras and lenses work. That technical understanding will unlock knew realms of creativity, or, at the very least, help you mess-up fewer photos. Read the Post “Basic Photography” or the “Basics of Photography”

Do you see good photo ops, but just cannot seem to make the camera capture the image like you see it? Photography is half creativity and half technique, and without a firm grasp on the technical side of how our cameras capture photographs, we can only hope our cameras take the photo we want. We all struggle with this “other half of photography”, but the more we understand and know how to put into practice, the fewer ruined photographs we will have. I will be leading a class on Wednesday nights this month (January) to learn about light, how our…

Read the PostLearning the Technical Side of Photography

Katie Armiger reluctantly signs an overzealous youth's bicep.

I was going about my own business, teaching school (music, these days), when I heard about a young singer who was coming to the school to share about her experience in the music industry and, of course, sing a few songs for us. It turned out to be Katie Armiger, an up and coming female vocalist in country music. Read the Post And THIS Is Why You Always Carry Your Camera

FAQ

My wife insisted I post this. I wrote all this in e-mails the past couple days trying to help a technologically-challenged sister buy a camera for her starting-out-photo-student brother, and they are in different countries, so cannot shop together.

Here is the little background: because these suggestions are for a specific situation. The student-photographer-in-question will have access to loaner lenses through the photography department. So, one, he does not need anything more than a workable lens for himself. And two, all that glass is Canon. So, regardless of my opinions, he needs a Canon camera and should put most of the investment in the camera.

The sister almost bought a Canon 5D mark II and a lens for $2000…and that is about $1000 too cheap. Thankfully, the lens they ordered was an EF-S and would not work on the 5Dmk2, so they were able to cancel the order, which was most certainly some sort of scam anyway. Then, they started thinking about the new 7D or a 50D. And that is where we pick up the story. Read the Post What Camera Should I Buy on a Budget?

Theres the REAL photographer!
"Ooo, there's the REAL photographer!"

That is not false humility. It seems with every passing “serious job” I do, I realize how far I have to go. Sure, I took some pretty shots, but there were so many shots that I looked at and thought, “Hmph, that one was almost good.” Read the Post So Far to Go

You know that really groovy lens flare you see every once in a while? It make you feel like the photo just has that extra little something, as if by accident, but I am betting that a majority of the time, it is on purpose…well, with professionals, anyway. I gotta get me some o’ that there flare.

As it turns out, I think I do not have flare and will not get flare. I kept trying different approaches: putting the sun in the photo, just on the edge of the photo, just out of the photo, and maybe a little further out. Nada. No flare. Read the Post Ain’t Got No Flare